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US Intelligence Warned of Escalating Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Ahead of Seismic Attack

In a series of assessments produced by the US intelligence community, the Biden administration was warned of an increased risk for a Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the weeks leading up to the seismic attack that occurred on October 7 in southern Israel. These assessments were based in part on intelligence provided by Israel, according to sources with knowledge of the intelligence.

One of the warnings came on September 28, when US intelligence issued an update based on multiple streams of information, cautioning that the terror group Hamas was prepared to escalate rocket attacks along the border. On October 5, a report from the CIA highlighted the growing likelihood of violence by Hamas. Then, on October 6, just one day before the attack, US officials circulated reports from Israel suggesting unusual activity by Hamas, foreshadowing an imminent attack.

Despite these warnings, none of the US assessments offered specific tactical details or insights into the scale and brutality of the operation Hamas would carry out on October 7. It remains uncertain whether any of these assessments were shared with Israel, which plays a significant role in providing intelligence upon which the United States relies.

One source familiar with the intelligence stated, “The problem is that none of this is new. This is something that has historically been the norm between Hamas and Israel. I think what happened is everyone saw these reports and were like, ‘Yeah, of course. But we know what this will look like.’”

These assessments were part of a larger series of high-level warnings given to the Biden administration by both the US intelligence community and Middle Eastern allies over the past year. This has raised questions about whether the United States and Israel were adequately prepared to address the escalating risks in the region.

A senior official from an Arab country in the Middle East region disclosed that their country had repeatedly voiced concerns to US and Israeli officials regarding the rising Palestinian anger, warning that it was reaching a dangerous level. However, as the official stated, “They never listened every time we warned them.”

Additionally, a Middle Eastern ambassador in Washington, D.C., revealed that their government had consistently informed the White House and US intelligence officials about the accumulation of weapons by Hamas and growing Palestinian discontent that was poised to erupt. The ambassador emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “The arms that exist in Gaza are beyond the imagination of anybody's thinking. The arms that exist in the West Bank, via Hamas, are also becoming a real problem, and Hamas control of the West Bank is a real issue.” These concerns were repeatedly conveyed to the US administration in meetings over the past year and a half.

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